Taking the Put People First message to the heart of Government
A fox woke me this morning at 4:30am, screaming at one of my cats. I hope it’s a good omen for today’s Put People First March for Jobs, Justice, Climate, which sets off from the Victoria Embankment in London at 12 noon (still time to come and join us!) But first, I’m off to see Environment and Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband, Gareth Thomas from DFID and Stephen Timms from the Treasury to press them on a green new deal, emergency funding for developing countries and tough new rules on tax havens.
The meeting is one of many that the Put People First coalition – now over 160 unions, development NGOs, environment campaigners, faith and women’s groups – has had with British Ministers, and we won’t stop when the London Summit is over. It’s the combination of a vast breadth of support, public demonstrations and detailed engagement with the Government that makes Put People First different from previous campaigns.
And, of course, we’re part of a much larger global alliance. 500 trade unionists from over 20 countries will be joining the demonstration today. And joining me, Simon Dubbins (Unite the union’s international director) and our NGO allies in this morning’s meeting will be Australian trade union leader Sharan Burrow (President of the International Trade Union Confederation) and Jerry Fernandez from the North American United Steelworkers.